Cybertainment: New websites deliver film, music, racing

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The National Film Board of Canada and The New York Times Op-Docs have joined forces to produce an engaging interactive documentary.

"A Short History of the Highrise" premiered at the New York Film Festival and can be viewed online at The New York Times website.

Written and directed by documentary filmmaker Katerina Cizek, "Highrise" explores the evolution of vertical living from early times to the present and its role as housing for the very wealthy and the very poor. Stark photos of New York tenements contrast with concrete and glass luxury towers.

The story is told in three sections -- "Mud," "Concrete" and "Glass." A fourth section -- "Home" -- consists of images people submitted to the project. A "making of" video gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the Times' massive photo archives, which Ms. Cizek used to gather images and inspiration for the project.

The film is the result of a unique U.S.-Canada partnership: The New York Times Op-Docs is a collection of short online documentaries. Canada's NFB produces a wide range of independent documentaries, which can been seen at its online Screening Room. "A Short History of the Highrise" is part of the NFB's larger "Highrise" project, an ongoing multimedia documentary that explores highrise living around the world.

Welcome to the age of the virtual music club. Turntable Live is a new interactive concert website where people can watch bands perform live on their tablets, phones or laptops.

People who want to watch the shows can check the schedule and buy a ticket to performances. Show tickets are $3. If the band sells a minimum of 10 tickets, the show is on.

Bands who want to be part of the series can register with Turntable and submit a request. If the band sells enough tickets, it will go to New York, where the show will be videotaped and streamed online from Turntable's studios.

The experience is a two-way street: Performers will be able to hear audio of their audience cheering and applauding and listeners can ask them questions about their music.

Turntable Live was developed by the creators of, a music sharing site where members can host their own channels or listen to other people's playlists

Racing fans will want to check out a new weekly Web series hosted by Chip Ganassi.

In "Ganassi Unplugged," he explores different facets of auto racing. New episodes will post every Wednesday on the GanassiTV YouTube channel and will run through the start of the 2014 racing season in January.

moviesvideo - artarchitecture - cybertainment

Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865. First Published October 10, 2013 8:00 PM


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